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23-Jul-04 | Delta flight 306 – Aura

After numerous delays and a countdown marked by a couple of minor vehicle issues, NASA’s Aura spacecraft was launched by Delta flight 306 from SLC-2W at Vandenberg Air Force Base. The official liftoff time in the pre-dawn hours of Thursday, 15 July 2004 was 1001:59.344 GMT. The satellite was delivered into a perfect orbit some 64 minutes later. Aura joins its siblings in the Earth Observing System, Terra (launched by an Atlas IIAS) and Aqua (Delta 291, 04-May-02), and carries a suite of instruments which will provide comprehensive data on atmospheric composition, chemistry and dynamics. This was the 59th consecutive success for Delta II.


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